Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes. By the Author of 'Ashtaroth'
Melbourne, Clarson, Massina and Co., 1870.
Octavo, 103,  (colophon) pages.
Blind-decorated brown cloth lettered in gilt on the spine and front cover; cloth lightly marked, scuffed and bumped, with minor wear to the extremities; contemporary ownership signature on the front flyleaf; light marginal pencil marks to three pages; overall, an excellent copy.
This copy is extra-illustrated with an accomplished and engaging original watercolour (98 x 178 mm) showing two stockmen on horseback in pursuit of a dingo. It has been mounted on the verso of the half-title and presented within a black ink border as a frontispiece. It is signed and dated in the image 'Chas H. Angas / 80', with a caption in ink below the border in the artist's hand: '' --- we ran the dingo down that gave us such a chase' ... Page 14, 'The Sick Stockrider''. There is a little discolouration of the glue, but this has minimal impact on the painting itself. Charles Howard Angas (1861-1928) was a grandson of George Fife Angas. His father was John Howard Angas; George French Angas was his uncle. We have handled a number of his watercolours, including coursing scenes in a similar style. Of course, the book on its own is significant too, not least for the part it plays in the short and ultimately tragic life of Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-1870). 'On 23 June 1870 his 'Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes' was published and Henry Kendall showed him a proof copy of the enthusiastic review he had written. At dawn the next morning Gordon went to the beach at Brighton and shot himself' (Australian Dictionary of Biography).